Universal Goes the Extra MarketMile

Studio starts buying indirect goods through hosted e-procurement application

Mountain View, CA  June 18, 2001  Universal Studios has implemented and is currently using an e-procurement solution from MarketMile, according to a customer announcement today from the solution provider.

MarketMile, a company founded and funded by American Express, combines a hosted e-procurement application with a network of indirect goods and services suppliers, allowing users to automate and streamline their procurement process for indirect goods.

Universal Studios is participating in MarketMile's early access program, while general availability of the solution provider's service is expected by the third quarter of this year.

"MarketMile's e-procurement solution provides the full-cycle functionality we were looking for, and their strategic supplier network already included many of our own key suppliers," said Theodore Garcia, director of e-procurement for Universal Studios. "It was an easy choice."

Garcia added that using MarketMile's hosted software saved Universal Studios the costs associated with software licensing, implementation and maintenance fees that a standalone enterprise application would have involved.

Implementation of MarketMile's service follows Universal Studios' adoption, in 1998, of the American Express corporate-purchasing-card program. Upon completion of the p-card project, Universal Studios' management began evaluating means to extend the value of their purchasing card program. In early 2000, they started implementing the financial integration and reconciliation software, AccountingLink Custom, also from American Express, and shortly thereafter, Universal Studios selected MarketMile to provide its e-procurement service.

Universal's rollout plan includes training approximately 750 MarketMile users by year-end. The Universal Studios' payables and purchasing systems support its studio operations, filmed entertainment and recreation businesses.

MarketMile's other early access clients include Ciba Speciality Chemicals, Excel Communications and MGE UPS Systems.